(ABOVE IMAGE) A National Weather Service image shows the latest 5 day track for Tropical Storm Ana.
(ABOVE VIDEO) Video contains the first Hawaii County Civil Defense message concerning Tropical Storm Ana.
- A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Hawaii County.
- Tropical Storm Ana is 590 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. The storm is moving west at 9 miles per hour.
- Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour, with higher gusts. Ana is forecast to gradually intensify and may become a hurricane on Thursday. However, Ana has deteriorated over the last few hours, and forecasters are uncertain about how intense the storm will become. A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected tonight or early Thursday and maintain this motion through Friday. The 5 day track has moved a little to the south since the 11 a.m. update.
- Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed an emergency proclamation. A number of closures have already been scheduled for Friday.
The National Weather Service will be placing the Island of Hawaii under at tropical Storm Watch effective 5:00 pm today.
Tropical Storm Ana was located approximately 630 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west at 9 miles per hour. Presently the system is showing sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts. In addition to the high winds, high surf and storm surge may be expected as well as heavy rains and thunder showers. We are asking Hawaii Island residents to monitor your local radio broadcasts for updates and to prepare for possible storm conditions which could begin to affect the Big Island by Friday. Residents in the shoreline communities of Punaluu in Kau and the Kalapana, Kapoho, and Pohoiki areas of Puna are advised to take precautions and to move to higher ground. Surf heights of 25 to 40 feet are currently forecasted for the southeast facing shores of Hawaii Island.
Due to the expected impact of the storm the following closures will begin Friday, October 17, and will remain closed until further notice:
· All county and state beach parks on the island of Hawaii
· All DOE public schools on the island of Hawaii
· Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School
· Na Wai Ola Public Charter School
Additionally, all inter-scholastic athletic events and student activities are canceled beginning tomorrow, Thursday October 16 and continue through the weekend, resuming when schools reopen.
Additional updates will be broadcasted as information becomes available.Hawaii County Civil Defense on Oct. 15
Ana has deteriorated over the past few hours and there is significant uncertainty over the position of the low level center. An amsu-b pass from 2303 utc suggests that the center remains displaced north of the deepest convection… And center fixes from sab and jtwc at 2330 utc both came in at 14.3n 148.0w. However… Low cloud lines in the visible images indicate that the center may have shifted slightly south closer to the deep convection with phfo placing the center at 13.9n 148.0w. The initial position uses a blend of both estimates… But the confidence is rather low. In addition to the center uncertainties… Ana’s appearance has become quite ragged in the latest satellite images and has become much less symmetric. Dvorak intensity estimates came in at 55 kt from all three fix agencies. As a result… The initial intensity has been lowered to 55 kt for this forecast package… And this may be generous.
The initial motion remains unchanged from the previous package at 270/8 kt. A deep layer ridge providing the steering current is expected to shift and produce a northwestward steering flow which will turn Ana toward the Hawaiian Islands. The latest objective aids remains tightly clustered but have shifted to the west. As a result… The forecast has been adjusted slightly west from the previous forecast and is parallel to and slightly to the right of the consensus. The track takes the center of Ana south and west of the Big Island then near Kauai late this weekend. Forward motion of the cyclone is expected to slow late Friday and into Saturday as steering currents weaken due to the passage of a low pressure system north of the Hawaiian Islands. The NOAA gulfstream iv sampled the near-storm environment earlier today. Data collected during the flight should help improve this evening/s model guidance.
The intensity forecast is a challenge. On one hand… More than adequate sea surface temperatures and favorable forecasted vertical shear conditions would support intensification to a hurricane through 48 hours. Hwrf and ghm are consistent with this reasoning. However… Ships and lgem are no longer forecasting ana to become a hurricane. The current deterioration of the tropical storm in the satellite images does lend credence to this possibility. The intensity forecast for this package leans toward the hwrf/ghm solution and still calls for Ana to reach hurricane intensity within 24 hours. However…The peak intensity has been lowered to 70 kt instead of 80 kt in the previous forecast. If Ana fails to reorganize soon… Subsequent intensity forecasts may need to be nudged downward further.
Note that it is important for people in the main Hawaiian Islands not to focus too closely on the exact forecast track of Ana. With an average 48 hour track error of approximately 80 miles… It is still too soon to say with much certainty which islands will be most likely to experience the worst weather. Everyone should be prepared for the possibility of direct impacts from Ana. It is also important to keep in mind that significant impacts from tropical cyclones can extend well away. National Weather Service discussion on Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. HST